It is said that in modern times, we listen seriously to what comedians say and laugh at what politicians say. This is unfortunately true in recent times especially when the comedian saying it is Dave Chappelle. Image source: https://www.mysanantonio.com
One of the first stand-up comedians that I actually sat and watched in full in Youtube was Russell Peters and then over the years, I started to discover others like Trevor Noah, Kevin Hart, Jim Gaffigan, Eddie Griffin, Gabriel Iglesias, Ronny Chieng (He is Malaysian too) and George Lopez (his 2004 stand-up “Why You Crying” brought back so many memories from my childhood. There is so thing common between Mexican and Indian).
And of course, there was that brilliant show called “Who’s Line Is It Anyway?” starring Drew Carey, Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie and Wayne Brady. The funniest segments are Scenes from a Hat and Props.
Listen to these talented comedians and you will be amazed on the amount of truth that they say in their jokes and the best part is it makes a lot of sense.
It was from these stand-up comedies, I watched (sorry, I can’t recall the name of comedian now) who questioned those who waking up early in the morning and zigzagging across the highway, getting angry at fellow road users just to be at the office, 10 minutes early – he rather wakes up late, takes his breakfast, drives casually even though he knows he will get stuck in traffic, use the time in traffic to listen to a podcast or learning something new and arrive at work 5 minutes late and be less stressed.
This segment of the comedy totally changed my perception of driving to work in the morning and back home in the evening. I get less angry at other road users these days and I am calmer these days.
There are other pearls of wisdom from the comedians – for example:-
- Trevor Noah – When flying over the middle of America, the turbulence is so bad. It’s like all the ignorance is rising through the air
- Jim Gaffigan – I remember the first time I saw a hammock. I thought “So that’s what trees are for.”
- Eddie Griffin – “Christians say Jesus is the messenger. Muslims say it’s Mohammed. I say who gives the fuck who the messenger is, did you get the message?”
- Gabriel Iglesias – “You know, a lot of people think that just ’cause you work out, lift weights, eat right, and do what people tell you to do that you’ll live a long life, maybe you will. But, why do people measure life by the years instead of how good the years were.”
- Dave Chappelle – “No matter how old you are, if a little kid hands you a toy phone… you answer it.”
- Dave Chappelle – “Chivalry is dead and women killed it.”
As I told you, they make a lot of sense – we laugh because it is something we did not think of and yet it is the truth. You turn back and see what politicians are talking and you wonder why sometimes the Parliament has become a place of comedy instead of civic minded lawmakers.
P.s. The older ones like Robin Williams and Bill Cosby stand up were good but their jokes played well for a different time.
In Malaysia, we have our own multi-talented Harith Iskander who recently won the Funniest Person in the World competition in December 2016. But I loved his off-the-stage stints especially one with Air Asia’s Tony Fernandes, seriously mocking the pricing structure of Tony’s Air Asia (for which Tony replies smart move).
Singapore is more famed with Kumar who has his own set of jokes on the Government, politicians, and race and yes, cheap jokes on neighbouring Malaysia (but he whacks his own country, Singapore too). Image source: Obviously Harith AWANI
From India, there are a few (I started off with Praveen Kumar) but recently I found Alexander Babu did a superb job with his talk on MSV and Yesudas. I will be paying more attention to him – he has great potentials. But the person that I listen in Tamil often these days is not a stand-up comedian or a movie actor. He is actually a public debater, guest speaker, (toastmaster if you may) and motivator – Kavingar Dr Mohana Sundaram.
If you can understand Tamil and married with kids, you need to listen to his talks & speeches on Youtube at least once a week. His speeches are hilarious, makes a lot of sense and wise. The main reason I listen to him is that he explains how not to get stressful and how to take things easy irrespective whether it is family or work-related stress. His insight on Indian Feng Shui, religious rites and fake news on the internet is truly interesting.
Dave Chappelle in one of his early comedy stand-up – it is so original and sticks down to the reality especially on the gays and pizza delivery. He is probably a few comedians that tell the truth as it is on the public stage and without any political statements as part of his comedy (unlike George Lopez who have very strong words for Trump due to the President’s rule on immigrants)
And Dave Chappelle can speak like a “White Guy, Black Guy” in the same statement – he does have a very good clear voice. And yes, there are some controversial statements on Michael Jackson’s victims, referring to LGBT as “the alphabet people” during his stand up comedy but one needs to dive through these to see the creativity of Dave Chappelle’s comedy. Just see Dave Chappelle’s comedy on Michael Jackson for instance, Dave said “Michael is dead for almost 10 years but he got 2 new cases” – that is funny indeed.
I have heard Dave Chappelle’s latest stand-up comedy over Netflix titled “Sticks And Stones” and it is brilliant as usual despite claiming its own set of controversies:-
“I know more than half the people in this room have been molested in their lives. But it wasn’t no godd*mn Michael Jackson, was it? This kid got his d*ck sucked by the King of Pop!
“I know it’s harsh,” he continued. “But somebody’s gotta teach these kids there’s no such thing as a free trip to Hawaii,” he said, referencing trips and other gifts Jackson gave many of his accusers.
At one point, he said, “[Trans people] hate my f*cking guts and I don’t blame them. […] I can’t stop writing jokes about these n*ggas.” He then joked about being a Chinese person born inside a black person’s body. “This is how I feel inside,” he quipped.
That is very classic Dave Chappelle!
So is Dave Chappelle: The greatest stand-up comedian of all time? I do think so.
By the way, who is your favourite stand-up comedian and why? Share your thoughts on the matter.